May 10, 2018






Nunes sought all documents on person described as longtime intelligence source

The Washington Post

A subpoena that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) issued to the Justice Department last week made a broad request for all documents about an individual who people close to the matter say is a sensitive, longtime intelligence source for the CIA and FBI.


Merced is California's fastest growing county


More people are moving into Merced County and the housing market is having trouble keeping up with the growth. The California Department of Finance reported that the county is the fastest growing in the state.

See also:

      California isn't growing, but the Valley sure is Modesto Bee


Madera County ties for number one for most non-farm job growth

Former farmland is now harvesting economic benefits in Madera County.


Sally Moreno strikes back at claims in voter publication

Madera Tribune

District attorney candidate Sally Moreno said she was troubled, but not shocked, by the recent allegations made by current District Attorney David Linn in a Madera Tribune Voters Guide.

See also:

     Ex-supervisor says he’ll vote for Moreno Madera Tribune


Online Voter Registration

California Secretary of State

Register online to vote.


Campaign ad in Fresno council race questions length of residence for two candidates

Fresno Bee 

Veva Islas, who is running for Fresno City Council in District 7, took to Facebook Wednesday to respond to negative mailers paid for by one of her competitors, Brian Whelan.


Price: Could Iran sanctions spur production in Kern oilfields?

The Bakersfield Californian

With the U.S. poised to reimpose economic sanctions, likely taking a substantial portion of Iran's 3.8 million daily barrels of oil off the market, will the Kern County oil fields see some new activity?


RAAN - Real-time Air Advisory Network

SJ Valley Air District

Check the air quality in your neighborhood




Inside the ad war in the race for California governor

The Mercury News

As California counts down the days to the June 5 primary election, several of the candidates for governor and their supporters have started to blanket Golden State airwaves. But will they make an impact on voters or just leave them annoyed with the constant interruptions?

See also:

     Personality – not policy – divides and other takeaways from the California governor debate Los Angeles Times

     California's Next Governor

     Charter schools' efforts in CA governor's race are all about kids The Sacramento Bee

     Republicans run to right in race for California governor Washington Post

     Newsom Gets Pummeled In California Governor Debate Politico

     Newsom says he was 'the first' to take on the NRA and win. Not quite The Mercury News

      EDITORIAL: The Chronicle endorsement: Gavin Newsom for California governor San Francisco Chronicle

     Mixing it up: After last debate for California governor, will Gavin Newsom get his wish? CALmatters

     John Chiang on five key election issues The Sacramento Bee

     Republican John Cox appeals to Trump supporters The Sacramento Bee

     Republican John Cox regrets not voting for Donald Trump Sacramento Bee


Suing your bosses would be protected under new California bill

Sacramento Bee

California workers could not be forced to sign an arbitration agreement, giving up their right to take complaints against their employer to court, under a bill currently moving through the Legislature.


Political Reform and Moderation in California’s Legislature

Public Policy Institute of California

California implemented several important election reforms at the start of this decade. Each was intended in part to promote more flexible, moderate decision-making among California’s elected officials in an era of increasingly acrimonious partisan conflict.


Billionaire Soros funding reform-minded district attorney candidates

San Francisco Chronicle

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has dropped at least $275,000 into district attorney races throughout Northern California, supporting candidates who advocate reduced incarceration and other criminal justice reforms.


EDITORIAL: Yes on California Proposition 71


Proposition 71 is an uncontroversial, reasonable adjustment to the timing of when a ballot initiative, referendum or constitutional amendment approved by voters goes into effect.


Deukmejian leaves behind legacy as spokesman for Armenians, advocate for Valley growers

Fresno Bee 

George Deukmejian, the California governor who served from 1983 until 1991, enjoyed strong support from central San Joaquin Valley residents during his two terms in office — and made frequent visits to Fresno.

See also: 

     EDITORIAL: On the legacy of George Deukmejian and what governance used to mean Sacramento Bee

        Committed to his ethics and transparent governing, George Deukmejian represented the best of American politics Los Angeles Times

     EDITORIAL: What former California Gov. George Deukmejian can teach us San Diego Union-Tribune




EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats move to revive net neutrality rules — the wrong way

Los Angeles

Senate Democrats opened up a new front Wednesday in the fight to preserve the internet from interference by the broadband providers that control its on-ramps.




When Everything Is Possible and Nothing Is True

Weekly Standard

Hannah Arendt proves indispensable in understanding the Trump era.


What America can learn from Europe’s new digital privacy laws


Hollie Russon-Gilman argues that the General Data Protection Regulation set to take effect in the European Union later this month should prompt discussion in the United States about a similar framework of digital privacy laws and data rights more broadly.


Care about internet privacy? Then prove it.


the issue isn't about Facebook or Twitter. It's about web users' personal responsibility. Social media platforms are in the public square. It’s users’ responsibility to make sure there is nothing on their social media accounts that shouldn’t be made public.


These are the 3400 Facebook ads purchased by Russia's online trolls around the 2016 election

Washington Post

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released about 3,400 Facebook ads purchased by Russian agents around the 2016 presidential election on issues from immigration to gun control, a reminder of the complexity of the manipulation that Facebook is trying to contain ahead of the midterm elections.


Sturm Ruger shareholders approve a gun violence study


Sturm Ruger shareholders voted on Wednesday to conduct a report on gun safety, an extremely unusual move for the gun industry.


Is Capitalism a Threat to Democracy?

New Yorker

The idea that authoritarianism attracts workers harmed by the free market, which emerged when the Nazis were in power, has been making a comeback.


Ben Shapiro: How Conservatives Can Win Back Young Americans

Weekly Standard

Young Americans are moving to the left. On virtually every issue, they support the Democratic party.


Heroes in war, they return to a heroes' welcome after trip to nation's capital

Fresno Bee

The Central Valley Honor Flight returned its 16th group from Washington, D.C. to a heroes' welcome at Fresno Yosemite International Airport on Wednesday evening.





That was quick: Modesto-based Gallo buys another vineyard in Santa Barbara County

Modesto Bee

For the second time in six days, E.&J. Gallo Winery announced the purchase of a vineyard in Santa Barbara County.


Worth Noting: Free produce at Wasco Farmer's Market

Bakersfield Californian

The Community Action Partnership of Kern is holding a giveaway of fresh produce and other healthy foods in Wasco this weekend for those in need.


California flower town wrestles with odor amid shift to pot

San Francisco Chronicle

Change is in the air in Carpinteria. And sometimes, residents say, it stinks. That's because marijuana has become a new crop of choice in the farmlands surrounding this tight-knit community of 14,000, which has long helped fuel the U.S. cut flower industry.


California pesticide use high, covers vast acreage

Capitol Weekly

Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren.






Crime in Fresno is down in all categories, police chief says

Fresno Bee

Fresno has seen a drop in crime so far this year, with crime numbers down in every category, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday. "It has been a good year," he said. "2018 has seen a significant reduction in crime."

See also:

     Fresno Police Say Violent Crime, Property Crime Continue Dropping KMJ


Fresno's independent reviewer has recommendations for police

The Fresno Bee

In examining a Fresno Police Department officer-involved shooting last April that left a 16-year-old boy dead, the city's Office of Independent Review recommended more officers be equipped with body cameras and Tasers.


Peace Officer Memorial: 'There is no greater love than this'

Visalia Times-Delta

In 2017, roughly 129 officers died in the line of duty across the country, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Three officers have lost their lives in California this year. On Wednesday, law enforcement from Tulare County came together to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. 


In political flip, Republicans unite behind prison reforms while liberals hold out

Sacramento Bee

Left-leaning civil rights groups that have vocally championed criminal justice reforms now stand as some of the effort’s last, biggest holdouts on Capitol Hill.


Public Safety:


Reviewer recommends body cameras for more officers after police shooting of unarmed teen

Fresno Bee 

In examining a Fresno Police Department officer-involved shooting last April that left a 16-year-old boy dead, the city's Office of Independent Review recommended more officers be equipped with body cameras and Tasers.


Dedication ceremony held for Kern County Justice Facility, which will soon begin housing inmates

The Bakersfield Californian

The new Kern County Justice Facility is a brightly-lit, sprawling lockup containing expanded classroom and medical space compared to older Kern jails, as well as a number of technological updates — including a room off the lobby filled with rows of video screens where visitors can talk to inmates without being brought further inside. 




Big utilities are desperately trying to stick customers for the bills from California wildfires

Los Angeles Times

Does there exist anywhere a whinier, more petulant, more entitled gang of businesses than California's big utility companies?






How Trump's steel tariffs kick the can business


Since President Donald Trump announced sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum to help the domestic steel industry on March 20, Pacific Coast Producers’ (PCP) steel costs have jumped 9 percent as the market prices in the tariffs before they even take effect.


One-Dimensional Chess

National Review

The administration needs a better trade policy if it wants to cope with China




If you’re 18 and a high school grad, that’s a starting point for Amazon’s Fresno jobs

Fresno Bee 

Amazon has started taking applications to begin hiring the 1,500 or so workers that it wants for its new Fresno order-filling warehouse. And the online retail behemoth has a laundry list of qualities that it’s looking for in its would-be employees.

See also:

      Amazon’s not the only warehouse hiring in Fresno. Ulta Beauty looking for workers, too Fresno Bee 


This Jobs Program Just Might Get People Back to Work

Pew Charitable Trusts

In February, Congress passed a budget bill that would make the reemployment grant program that the U.S. Department of Labor has touted for years permanent and increase its funding from about $100 million last year to more than $3 billion over the next six years.


California Employment by Income

Next 10

A trio of new studies suggest deepening divisions in California's economy, depending on residents' income and where they live. Some familiar trends continue.


Just how tight is the US job market?


“The number of unfilled jobs U.S. employers had at the end of March rose to a record high of 6.55 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. There were just 6.59 million unemployed Americans that month, creating the narrowest gap between available jobs and those actively seeking work in nearly two decades of record keeping.”






A closer look at California's impressive educational performance


Contrary to flat National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) growth in the rest of the country, California’s average NAEP scores for 4th and 8th-grade reading and 8th-grade math have grown substantially, registering top growth scores nationally from 2009-2017 for 8th-grade reading (first in the nation) and math (tied for second) and 4th grade reading (tied for second).

See also:

       State Board of Education President Mike Kirst retires — and reflects on changes he has led  EdSource

       In California governor's race, let's focus on what's really at stake Sacramento Bee

       Gubernatorial debate includes pledges for universal preschool from Democrats EdSource


University High Fresno one of state's top schools

Fresno Bee

University High has again been named one of the best high schools in California, placing fifth in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings for the state.


'The system is broken.' Decorated teacher says Merced Union fails to protect victims

Merced Sun Star

A highly decorated veteran teacher blasted Merced Union High School District officials Wednesday in a fiery public speech, saying when she asked an administrator for protection from a coworker she was "mocked" and "belittled."


District looks to change Modesto refugee student policy; advocates doubt it will help

Modesto Bee

Faced with allegations of restricting access to education for refugee students, Modesto City Schools has proposed changes to its enrollment policies.


MUSD seeking cash to build new high school

Madera Tribune

Madera’s new High School has been named, the site has been purchased, and the groundbreaking has taken place. All that remains now is to figure out how the district will pay for it.


Bakersfield, Delano teachers take home Teacher of the Year awards

The Bakersfield Californian

Two Kern County teachers — one from Bakersfield and the other from Delano — have been chosen as winners of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ Teacher of the Year awards.


Higher Ed:


Clovis doctor college, Assemi project, new building CHSU

Fresno Bee

A medical school broke ground in northeast Clovis on Wednesday, becoming the latest privately funded health care project spearheaded by the Assemi family.

Also See:

     California Health Sciences University breaks ground on future Clovis campus ABC30

     With Clovis Groundbreaking, Proposed Medical School One Step Closer To Reality Valley Public Radio


Picket line grows to 1,400 at UC Davis hospital as two unions add support

Sacramento Bee

The pickets have rallied throughout the University of California system. Combined, the three unions have about 10,000 members at UC Davis and 53,000 system-wide.

See also:

     'You can feel it when the workers aren’t there.' Nurses strike with hospital workers Sacramento Bee

     California Hospitals, Officials Take Careful Steps To Minimize Patient Impact During UC Labor Strike Capital Public Radio

     After 3-Day Strike, University Of California's Service Workers Vow To Keep Fighting NPR

     University Of California Service Workers Continue Protest As Strike Nears End NPR

      University of California nurses, cooks strike for 3rd day The Mercury News


How Colleges Manage to Afford Big Projects in Lean Times

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Public-private partnerships can help colleges remake their campuses in years, rather than decades. The bigger the deal, the more complexities it brings.


California Stands to Lose Billions in Future Economic Returns by Continuing to Underfund CSU and UC

California Budget and Policy Center

As we highlighted in a recent analysis, per student spending at the CSU and UC are well below pre-recession levels and are significantly below the funding request from each institution. 


Worries That A Federal Student Loan Watchdog Will Be Muzzled


Student loans just crossed the $1.5 trillion mark. They are the biggest category of borrowing after mortgages. And since 2012, when college students are mistreated or misled, the CFPB's Student and Young Consumer division has been there to help.






Volunteers, nonprofits reviving some California state parks

San Francisco Chronicle

It’s part of a statewide trend that’s seeing nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, volunteers, cultural institutions and companies taking on bigger roles in operating California’s 280 state park units.


Impacts of climate change in California significant and increasingly stark, new report says


From record temperatures to proliferating wildfires and rising seas, California is already feeling the significant and growing effects of climate change, according to a new report released today that tracks 36 indicators of climate change and its impacts on the state.


“Debug Fresno” Is Back - And It Seems To Be Working


For the last two years, the Fresno area has been the site of an experimental mosquito control program.

See also:

     Do They Bite, Or Don’t They? Common Myths And Misconceptions About “Debug Fresno” NPR


Automakers Sought Looser Rules. Now They Hope to Stop Trump From Going Too Far.

New York Times

This past Tuesday in House testimony, Mitch Bainwol, the auto industry’s top lobbyist, suggested that the automakers have a different message: They are continuing to urge the Trump administration, he said, “to find a solution that continues to increase fuel efficiency standards.”




California Energy Commission votes to require solar on nearly all new homes


California moved a step closer Wednesday to require solar panels on new homes and low-rise apartment buildings starting in 2020, the first such mandate nationwide and the state's latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Also See:

     California requires solar panels for all new California homes in 2020 The Fresno Bee

     California Moves Forward With Plan To Require Solar Panels On New Homes

     California to require solar panels on all new homes

     California Moves Forward With Plan To Require Solar Panels On New Homes : The Two-Way  NPR

     Think Solar Is Upending California's Power Grid Now? Just Wait Bloomberg

     California Takes Big Step to Require Solar on New Homes WSJ

     In a First, California Will Require Solar Panels On All New Homes KQED | Science

     California moves to require solar panels on all new homes The Bakersfield Californian


Summer just got a little hotter: State could have you using your AC less

Sacramento Bee

The managers of California's electrical grid warned Wednesday that the state is facing tight power supplies this summer, due in part to a drier winter that is reducing available hydro power. Some Californians could be forced to turn down their air conditioners, hold off on doing their laundry or make other sacrifices in the name of energy conservation.

Also See:

     California grid operator warns of tight power supplies The Modesto Bee

     Tight Summer Electricity Supply Predicted


Prospective Community Choice Aggregators Required to Meet New Deadlines for Registration

Public CEO

As Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs emerge throughout California, the number of cities inspired to consider CCA has rapidly increased. Cities currently considering CCA must move forward promptly to meet new deadlines and ensure their CCA implementation is not delayed.






Under A Trump Proposal, Lawful Immigrants Might Shun Medical Care


The Trump administration is considering a policy change that might discourage immigrants who are seeking permanent residency from using government-supported health care, a scenario that is alarming some doctors, hospitals and patient advocates.


Health policy reform or wealth transfer?


Americans have been fighting over health insurance reform for years. Single-payer proposals, as most recently proposed in California’s legislature, are just the latest example. 


Drug makers and pharmacies must pay for their role in opioid addiction, counties say

Sacramento Bee

In a legal strike against big drug makers and national pharmacy chains, dozens of California counties are filing federal lawsuits alleging racketeering and fraud by companies that they blame for the spiraling costs of the nation's opioid epidemic.

See also: 

     California counties join nationwide lawsuit against opioid manufacturers San Francisco Chronicle


Cancer warnings for coffee may be overkill, but Proposition 65 is not

Los Angeles Times

We agree that there is little gain, and possibly some harm, in issuing cancer warnings that don't convey relative risk. 


Coalinga hospital shutting down

Hanford Sentinel

News that the 136-bed Coalinga Regional Medical Center is closing all of its health care services is affecting not just locals and 200 employees but other caregivers like Adventists Health in Hanford and Selma.


Lead paint makers balk at huge bill for toxic cleanup—instead they want you to pick up the tab


Three companies found to have sold toxic lead paint for decades—despite knowing it posed health hazards for children—are waging a major battle to avoid paying the several hundred million dollars in liability that California courts have slapped on them. And they’re asking you, the California voter, to help them get their way.


How Can Neighborhood Parks Be Used to Increase Physical Activity?


Public neighborhood parks offer accessible infrastructure that can facilitate physical activity, and most urban U.S. residents live within a mile of at least one park.


Human Services:


Reauthorizing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families


The claim that severe poverty has gotten worse since the advent of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is wrong. But this does not mean that we cannot improve how we help TANF recipients — only that we should not be motivated by the desire to solve a problem that does not exist.




Rebel US House Republicans seek to force 'Dreamer' immigration vote


A breakaway group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives defied their leaders on Wednesday in an attempt to force bipartisan action on legislation protecting young illegal ‘Dreamer’ immigrants from deportation. 

Also See:

     House Republicans, Defying Leaders, Move to Force Immigration Votes New York Times

     At Least 17 Republicans Sign Discharge Petition To Force Votes on DACA Bills Roll Call


EDITORIAL: The Trump team threatens to rip apart families who cross the border

San Francisco Chronicle

The Trump administration is promoting an especially cruel tactic in its anti-immigrant crusade. Parents who cross the border illegally will be separated from their children, a notion that adds trauma and anxiety to an already fraught process.




Land Use:


City of Bakersfield Approves Vision Plan for Downtown Bakersfield and High-Speed Rail Station

California High-Speed Rail Authority

The Bakersfield City Council voted yesterday to approve the “Making Downtown Bakersfield” Station Area Vision Plan and Environmental Impact Report that will serve as a plan to continue revitalization efforts and guide future development of Downtown Bakersfield.


Downtown crosswalks spark debate

Hanford Sentinel

Downtown business owners were quite surprised earlier this month when they saw notices posted near several downtown crosswalks.




California housing crisis may lead to economic one, says report


Research finds that across the state, the shortage of affordable and accessible housing is restricting growth, inflicting economic and environmental damage, and causing many low-income and middle-class residents to seek opportunities elsewhere.

See also:

     Current State of the California Housing Market Next 10


How California's candidates for governor want to fix the state's housing problems

Los Angeles Times

While all the candidates agree on increasing California’s housing supply, they have varying ideas for how to do it. Here’s a rundown of their plans to address housing and homelessness as well as some of the challenges they might face.


County's homeless population spikes in recent count

The Bakersfield Californian

Homelessness in Kern County went up 9 percent last year, according to the Kern County Homeless Collaborative Point in Time Count.

See also:

     California Today: When Children Ask About Homelessness New York Times




California teachers' pension fund to pressure gun retailers

Sacramento Bee

California's teacher pension fund is stepping up its efforts to persuade major national retail companies to quit selling assault-type weapons that are illegal in the state.

See also:

      Giant California teacher pension system targets gun sellers Washington Post


California’s Marijuana Tax Cut Could Be in Jeopardy and Revenue Lags Behind Budget Projections


Money collected through California’s marijuana taxes may fall short of the $175 million budgeted for the first six months of this year. The less-than-expected haul could force the Legislature to shelve a bill that would reduce the excise tax on pot from 15% to 11%, state officials warned Tuesday.

See also:

     Cannabis tax revenue in California falls far short of projections San Francisco Chronicle

     California Has Slow Start To Marijuana Tax Collections Capital Public Radio


Monetary Policy Conference: Examining Central Banking

Hoover Institution

Economists and policy makers engaged in robust discussions on the Federal Reserve’s proper role in U.S. monetary policy at the Hoover Institution on May 4.


Which Side Are You On?

New York Times

Should taxes on households making $250,000 or more a year be raised? When you ask Democrats this question, you get a very interesting answer: Those on the bottom of the income distribution appear to want lower taxes on high earners than those on the top do.




Gas prices are topping $4 at some Fresno stations. Ready to pay more at the pump?

Fresno Bee 

Gasoline prices in Fresno already increased beyond $4 per gallon this week at some places in town. And gas prices are projected to rise even more going into the summer in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Also See:

     Gas Prices Could Rise After U.S. Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Accord KMJ-AF1

     These Are The Potential Consequences Of Renewing Sanctions For Iran's Oil Importers NPR


California's road to sustainable freight

Capitol Weekly

The state’s network of highways and railways (thousands of miles’ worth), seaports (including the two largest in the country), airports, distribution centers, and border crossings supports a freight system that is responsible for one in three California jobs—and much of our air pollution. Any solution to California’s environmental health and climate change challenges must include more sustainable freight.


Here's why biking to work sucks (and also why biking to work is awesome)

SF Gate

BIKING TO WORK IS AWESOME BECAUSE: You're statistically happier than your car-caged peers


City of Bakersfield Approves Vision Plan for Downtown Bakersfield and High-Speed Rail Station

California High-Speed Rail Authority

The Bakersfield City Council voted yesterday to approve the “Making Downtown Bakersfield” Station Area Vision Plan and Environmental Impact Report that will serve as a plan to continue revitalization efforts and guide future development of Downtown Bakersfield.


Auto CEOs Should Skip Meeting With Trump And Talk To California Instead


Top executives from the largest automakers are scheduled to meet Friday with President Trump in the White House. This will be a day none of them will get back.


Authorities to audit FAA oversight of Allegiant, American airlines

Federal officials said Wednesday they would audit the Federal Aviation Administration's oversight of maintenance on Allegiant Air and American Airlines.




Temperance Flat Dam is dead. Now Valley lawmakers need to come up with fresh ideas

Fresno Bee

The Temperance Flat dam died last week, a symbolic stake driven through its concrete heart. Hard as this might be for our elected representatives to accept, there’s really only one course of action left: Let it go.


California Water District Approves Up To $650M For Tunnels

Capital Public Radio

The Santa Clara Valley Water District board voted 4-3 Tuesday to support the $17 billion project and to commit up to $650 million to help pay for it.


Precipitation whiplash and climate change threaten California's freshwater

Washington Post

The California Department of Water Resources found last month that the water content in the Sierra snowpack was about half its historical average for the beginning of April despite late winter storms. 




Plenty of opportunities for Central Valley trout anglers

Sierra Star

Since the recent opening of trout season, Central Valley anglers will find many area fishing opportunities despite the flooding of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Moccasin Creek Hatchery in Tuolumne County, which supplied many Central Valley and western Sierra Nevada waters with trout.


New Museum Exhibit Near Shaver Lake Explores A Changing Forest


The Central Sierra Historical Society Museum at Shaver Lake has launched a new website and museum dedicated to the changing forest.


Top 10 California parks: Little known wonders

San Francisco Chronicle

With 280 state park units, California’s state park system contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the United States. There are also lesser-known park properties that are calling out for a visit.